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Hernando County Centenarians 2009

submitted by: Virginia Jackson of the Hernando Heritage Museum Association

Each year in January a birthday party is given by the county in conjunction with SunTrust Bank of Brooksville for all residents who have reached the age of 100 years or more. In 2009 Hernando County honored 13 residents ranging in age from 100 years to 109 years of age. Listed below are all 13 of them with a brief paragraph about them.

Josephine P. Boylan, 101

Josephine was born October 3, 1908 in Lebanon, NY and married Vincent Boylan. They are the parents of 3 children, eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren. She worked as a seamstress and some of her fondest memories are of her son playing the organ and the family singing together during the Holidays.

Carl Blesser, 103

Carl was born June 1,1906 in New York, NY and married Nadine. They had no children. Carl worked as a Certified Public Accountant. One of his favorite memories is visiting the Empire State Building in New York City with Nadine and his parents.

Vera Bryant, 100

Vera was born May 7, 1909 at Twin Lakes, FL (Pasco County). Vera married Robert Bryant and has 2 daughters. She enjoyed a 33 year career as a registered nurse. Vera is proud to be the oldest member of Bethlehem Progressive Baptist Church. If she could do it all again, she wouldn't change a thing.

Lillian Chudy, 102

Lillian was born in New York City on September 14, 1907. She married Stephen Chudy and they have one daughter, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She worked as a seamstress for many years. One of her fondest memories is having met President Jimmy Carter.She moved to Hernando County because her brother, an aunt and uncle lived here.

Tekla Hampton, 103

A native of Stockholm, Sweden; Tekla was born September 24, 1906. She was widowed in 1979 and has two children, 1 grandchild, two great-grandchildren and three great great grandchildren. In 1946 she met Greta Garbo while traveling by shipto Sweden. Tekla moved to Florida in 1968 to be with her children.

Marion Irvin, 109

Marion was born in Plattsburg, NY on July 10, 1900. She married her husband Louis (Al) in 1927, and they had no children. She graduated from Plattsburg high School in 1918 and worked as a staffer for the North New York Telephone Company.

Barbara Kujawa, 100

She was born December 5, 1909 in Ironwood, MI. She married Aloysius Kujawa and they had 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. She worked in a factory on an assembly line. She proud that she got to see all her children get married.

Bertha Lewis, 103

Bertha was born in Georgia on October 19, 1906. She married LaVorge Lewis and they had one daughter. She has worked as a seamstress and her favorite activities are going to church and reading her bible.

Marie O'Brien, 107

Marie was born in Philadelphia, PA on January 3, 1902. She is the oldest of three sisters and married her husband Thomas O'Brien in 1924. She has worked for both Lit Brothers Department Store and the Bell Telephone Company. In 1917 she passed out cigarettes and snacks to the troops as they moved through Philadelphia. She moved to Hernando County in 1971. She is a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and has fond memories of the party they gave her on her 100th birthday.

Nancy Pasqualino, 102

Nancy was born in Brooklyn, NY; May 12, 1907.She never married and has no children.She was a bookkeeper and manager of the Gucci Shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City. She and her sister Connie are second cousins to Mother Theresa.

Connie Pasqualino, 100

Connie is the younger sister of Nancy Pasqualino and also was born in Brooklyn, NY. Her birthdate is June 28, 1909. She also remained single and has no children. She attended the Pratt School of Design in Brooklyn. She worked for an advertising company as a staffer. She was fortunate to have been able to see Pope Paul at Shea Stadium. She moved to Hernando County in 1990 to be with her sisters Nancy and Margaret.

Richard Reidel, 100

Richard hails from Sturbridge MA and was born February 1, 1909. He first married Lucille, who sadly passed away in 1981. He then married Anne who passed away in 2006. Neither marriage was blessed with children. He was a vice president of a linen company in St. Petersburg, FL. He has fond memories of sailing in New York Harbor and seeing the Statue of Liberty from that vantage point. His favorite activity: BREATHING!

Lucius E. Young, 100

Lucius is a native of Martel, FL and was born May 8, 1909. His wife was named Muriel and they had no children. Lucuis attended Howard University, Georgetown University and Fessenden Academy. He served in the U. S. Army Infantry during World War II and retired as a commissioned officer. He met General George MacArthur and heard him utter that famous line; "I shall return".